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How Long Does It Take to Send Bitcoin?

Last Updated: December 1, 2021

How long does it take to send Bitcoin? The answer depends on a range of factors, let’s find out what they are.
How Long Does It Take to Send Bitcoin
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The most common question that beginner crypto enthusiasts ask about is how long it takes to send bitcoin. But there is no specific answer to this question because the duration relies on multiple factors. 

Generally, bitcoin transfer only takes a few seconds. But there are times when it can take up to 60 minutes. But on average, the transfer duration of bitcoin ranges from 10 to 20 minutes. 

So, what are those factors that affect the transfer duration of bitcoin? 

Let’s find out. 

The Bitcoin Transfer Procedure

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Each bitcoin transaction has to be confirmed according to a procedure. And this procedure is called mining. Using this technique, crypto miners must figure out different puzzles. 

With the increase in bitcoin transactions, this mining process is becoming more and more difficult. Moreover, validation of each of these transactions requires more time. 

In recent few years, the total bitcoin transactions have multiplied trifold. As a result, a few users had to wait for days to get their bitcoins into their accounts. 

But before we get into the matter of the transition duration of bitcoin, it is crucial to understand various aspects associated with the process of sending bitcoin. 

Sending Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a digital currency, and it has no physical or real form. Instead, the virtual currency must get confirmation on a highly-protected public ledger called a blockchain.

This ledger has all the signature records or transactions. 

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The bitcoins that you own have previous records and have public keys and private keys. 

  • You can conveniently share public keys with other investing parties to receive your bitcoins. Plus, public keys will provide you with essential data about your bitcoin transaction. 
  • Private keys only belong to the users and no one else. These private keys assist in approving bitcoin transactions. 

When you send these bitcoins, each transaction message includes three parts:

  • There is an input which is a code that will reveal the previous record of the bitcoin transaction. Moreover, it will display all the earlier sources of those coins. 
  • There is an amount that involves a total volume of the bitcoin that you want to send. 
  • And there is an output that can be the transaction address or a public key. 

As soon as the blockchains get that transaction message, the miners will confirm the bitcoin transaction with the three details mentioned above. 

Now, this mining process takes time. It is because crypto miners have to solve trickery puzzles or mathematical questions.

And then, they will edit the bitcoin history and create fresh signatures for the new transaction. 

Factors Affecting the Bitcoin Transfer Duration

We have already established that bitcoin transactions can take anywhere from 10 minutes to even several days or weeks. Miners have to confirm these bitcoin transactions, so there will always be a network delay.

The primary aspects that influence a bitcoin transaction duration are transaction fees and the overall network activity.

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Network Activity

Bitcoin’s total network activity relies on the number of transactions that go down on that network per day.

So, if this number of transactions is high, network activity is going to be more. Apart from that, in a 1MB block, only a few miners verify transactions. 

With the increase in popularity of bitcoin, the network at times has to encounter a massive pile of transactions that have to be confirmed.

As a result, the block lengths are insufficient and incorporated into a big line called bitcoin mempool

And the size of the mempool ranges based on the transaction fees, preference, and delay duration. So, we will talk about this bitcoin mempool in a bit. 

Bitcoin Traction Fees

Crypto mining procedure requires technology, action, power, and order. And for that, you will have to pay fees for these transactions. If you spend less, miners will process your transaction last. 

Therefore, low transaction fees are the primary reasons for the delay of bitcoin traction durations. The transaction fees for each bitcoin transaction are indicated in SPB (Satoshis per Byte).

The investors who are organizing the blocks fix these transaction fees, and these fees should be mined. 

Bitcoin is a decentralized and unstable currency. Based on the incline and decline of these transaction fees, the waiting time must be balanced.

Bitcoin makers believe that a waiting time ranging from half an hour to a full hour is not appropriate for scaling adoption. 

Therefore, they are providing some modern solutions that can assist in generating bitcoin transactions quickly. Among these modern solutions is the Lighting Network. 

What Is Bitcoin Mempool?

This bitcoin mempool is a record for all the bitcoin transactions that miners have not validated yet. These transactions go to the next block on the blockchain network.

Therefore, this mempool is temporarily present on individual nodes of a network. 

These mempool transactions periodically clear as soon as a miner adds a new block to the blockchain.

Any pending transactions waiting in mempools will only be cleared or processed when they meet a minimum fee threshold. 

The transactions with low fees must wait over one block within this mempool till they get clearance and are validated. 

Bitcoin Transaction Confirmation

Once a miner verifies the block that has the bitcoin transaction, it will verify your transfer. So if you pay more transaction fees, you can make your transfers faster.

For instance, sending small amounts that are under $1000 will only need one confirmation. So, you can transfer these quantities within ten minutes.

But when you have a packed network, you will have to wait for an hour or so. 

You might have to go for six different conformations when you are transferring a large amount that ranges from $10,000 to $1,000,000.

If you are making transactions of over $1,000,000, you will have to get at least 60 confirmations. 

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Source: https://www.hedgewithcrypto.com/how-long-transfer-bitcoin/ 

Checking Bitcoin Transaction Time

There are some tools that you can use to estimate the average time that it can take to complete a bitcoin transaction. You can also get guidance on the transaction fees that you should add. 

Satoshis denote these, and there are 100,000,000 satoshis in one bitcoin. If you submit a transaction with a low transaction fee, you will have a real risk of upsetting the crypto miners.

Therefore, they will just ignore our transaction request, and your transaction will end up in a long list of unconfirmed transactions (mempool). 

But you should not worry much because miners will process it whenever there is a massive lull on the blockchain. This is the time when crypto miners do not have anything else to do. 

How to Send Bitcoins in a Fast Way?

Send Bitcoin

The quick way of doing it is to pay a high transaction fee. When you pay a higher transaction fee, your transactions will process faster.

Therefore, paying a high fee will allow you to avoid the long queue and waiting time. 

The primary purpose of modern technologies like the ones we discussed earlier, the Lighting Network, is to reduce transaction duration.

For this, they have created an extra membrane right on top of this blockchain technology to accelerate the overall transfer process. 

Moreover, you can use other crypto coins instead of bitcoin to speed things up. For instance, cryptos like Ethereum, Litecoin, and others are popular due to their quick transactions.

Therefore, you will revive conformations right after you send your cryptocurrency. 

Final Word on How Long Does it Take to Send Bitcoin?

Many factors influence the bitcoin transaction time. These include the blockchain processor service provider and their transaction fees.

Paying a higher fee for a transaction will give you the benefit of transferring your bitcoins much quickly. 

But if you are not in a hurry, you can always go for a lower fee for your transactions. However, with a higher transaction amount, you will have to go through more confirmations.

Therefore, it will increase the overall transfer duration time. Otherwise, you can send smaller amounts for faster processing. 

Written by Jason Wise

Hi! I’m Jason. I tend to gravitate towards business and technology topics, with a deep interest in social media, privacy and crypto. I enjoy testing and reviewing products, so you’ll see a lot of that by me here on EarthWeb.